« PreviousContinue »
the same quantity of blood as before. He was now advised to increase the tity of elixir of vitriol, had a bolus of extractum campechense every 6 hours, and had a leech applied to a blind pile that had long appeared after going to stool. On the 9th, at the same hour, he had again the same discharge as before. That these hæmorrhages were from the pulmonary artery, rather than the bronchial, appears from the sudden exspuition, the quantity, the floridity, and from the discharge being without pain, and unmixed with phlegm.
As he had no feverish symptoms, either when he first awaked, or during the day, no more blood was taken from him; and as he constantly slept profoundly from 10 o'clock till 2, when the complaint seized him, he was now advised to be awakened, and rise out of his bed, at one in the morning, and remain awake till 3, omitting all medicines. He continued to rise from bed for a week, and has ever since used himself to awake at the same time; and has not only been entirely free from this complaint, and that without any further discharge from the hæmorrhoidal vessels; but has got more flesh, and his head-aches are become even inconsiderable. Dr. D. says, he ought not here to omit, that he had a vomit given him on the 12th, and twice repeated at the intervals of 3 or 4 days. As the patient, from a former hemiplegia, had probably many parts of his body rendered less irritable than is natural, and as he constantly slept profoundly, and the hæmoptoe always awaked him after 4 hours sleep, Dr. D. was led to conclude that, during this sleep, the lungs were not sufficiently sensible to push forwards the whole circulation; and that hence the blood, gradually accumulated, ruptured some minute branches of the pulmonary artery, before the uneasiness became great enough to awake the patient. And as much as the evidence of a single case in medicine may be estimated, the successful cure would seem to evince the truth of this doctrine.
He adds, that the anxiety with which patients reduced to great weakness awake from their sleep, and the hurried pulse, have by others been observed to be owing to an accumulation of blood in the lungs, during their state of decreased sensibility; and how detrimental, in these cases, might be the administration of opium, or nitre; while the want of sleep, or the recurring hæmorrhage, might seem, to the unwary practitioner, to need their assistance.
After a few days, observing some cough remain, it seemed advisable to give 2 or 3 vomits; as, from late experience, they did not endanger a renewal of the discharge, and must promote the expectoration of the eschar, or any extravasated blood; which otherwise, by its delay acquiring a putrid acrimony, perhaps most frequently erodes the contiguous vessels, and, forming new ulcerations, becomes the general cause of consumptions, subsequent to accidental spittings of blood.
LII. Of the late Earthquakes in Syria. In a Letter from Dr. P. Russel, to his Brother, A. Russell, M. D., F. R. S. Dated Aleppo, Dec. 2, 1759. p. 529. June 10, in the morning, a slight shock of an earthquake was felt here. October 30, about 4 in the morning, was a pretty severe shock, indeed the most violent he had ever felt, which lasted somewhat more than a minute, but did no damage in Aleppo. In about 10 minutes after this first, there was a 2d shock; 'but the tremulous motion was less violent, and did not last above 15 seconds. This earthquake occasioned little alarm among the natives, and even with the Europeans was the topic only for a day. But the subject was soon revived, by letters from Damascus, where the same shock felt as at Aleppo, and several other successive ones had done considerable damage. From this time we had daily accounts of earthquakes from Damascus, Tripoly, Seidon, Acri, and all along the coast of Syria.
Nov. 25 was a more severe shock. About half an hour after 7 at night the earthquake came on: the motion at first was gently tremulous, increasing by degrees till the vibrations became more distinct, and so strong as to shake the walls of the houses with considerable violence; they again became more gentle, and thus changed alternately several times during the shock, which lasted in all about 2 ininutes. In about 8 minutes after this was over, a slight shock of a few seconds duration succeeded. At a quarter after 4 next morning was another shock, which lasted somewhat less than a minute, and was hardly so strong as that of the preceding night. The night of the 26th was rainy and cloudy. At 9 o'clock was a slight shock of a few seconds. The motion here appeared to be very deep, and was rather undulatory than tremulous. From midnight of the 25th, besides these now mentioned, 4 or 5 slighter shocks were felt; but Mr. R. was sensible of none till the morning of the 28th, when they had a short pulsatory shock. The same day, at 2 o'clock, they had a pretty smart shock, lasting about 40 seconds. From this time he was sensible of no more, though others either felt or imagined several slight vibrations every day.
At Antioch many houses have been thrown down, and some few people killed. The earthquake of the evening of the 25th proved fatal to Damascus; onethird of the city was thrown down, and of the people great numbers perished in the ruins. The greater part of the surviving inhabitants fled to the fields, where they continued, being hourly alarmed by slighter shocks, which deterred them from re-entering the city, or attempting the relief of such as might yet be saved, by clearing away the rubbish. Other accounts make the loss of the inhabitants
amount to 20,000.
Tripoli suffered rather more than Aleppo; 3 minorets, and 2 or 3 houses,
were thrown down, while the walls of numbers of the houses were rent. Many other towns suffered more or less.
́LIII. Remarks on the Bovey Coal. By Jeremiah Mills,* D.D., F. R.S. p. 534.
The Devonshire fossil is commonly known by the name of the Bovey coal. It is found on a common surrounded with hills, called Bovey Heathfield, in the parish of South-bovey, 13 miles south-west of Exeter, and 3 miles west of Chudleigh. The uppermost of these strata rises within a foot of the surface, under a sharp white sand, intermixed with an ash-coloured clay, and underlies to the south about 20 inches in a fathom. The perpendicular thickness of these strata, including the beds of clay with which they are intermixed, is about 70 feet. There are about 6 of each, and they are found to continue eastward, in an uninterrupted course, to the village of Little Bovey, a mile distant, and probably extend much farther. The strata of coal near the surface are from 18 inches to 4 feet thick, and are separated by beds of a brownish clay, nearly of the same dimensions, but diminishing in thickness downwards in proportion as the strata of coal grew larger; and both are observed to be of a more compact and solid substance in the lower beds. The lowermost stratum of coal is 16 feet thick; it lies on a bed of clay, under which is a sharp green sand, not unlike sea sand, 17 feet thick, and under that a bed of hard close clay, into which they bored, but found no coal. From the sand arises a spring of clear blue water, which the miners call mundic water, and a moisture of the same kind trickling through the crevices of the coal tinges the outside of it with a blue cast.
Some small and narrow veins of coal are found intermixed with, and shooting through the beds of clay, forming impressions like reeds and grass, and very similar to those generally found on the top of coal-mincs. The clay also (at least that part of it which lies nearest to the coal) seems to partake of its nature, having somewhat of a laminous texture, and being in a small degree inflammable; and among this clay, but adhering to the veins of coal, are found lumps of a bright yellow loam, extremely light, and so saturated with petroleum, that they burn like sealing wax, emitting a very agreeable and aromatic scent.
Though the substance and quality of this coal, in its several strata, are much
Dr. Mills was born at High Cleer, in Hampshire, of which place his father was minister, in 1713, and he died in 1784; consequently at 71 years of age. Dr. M. was esteemed a very learned divine and antiquary. He succeeded Dr. Lyttleton as dean of Exeter, and also as president of the Society of Antiquaries, to whose Archæologia he was a great contributor. Dr. Mills was a zealous champion for the genuineness of the Rowley poems, of which he printed an edition in 4to, with glossarial annotations; which laid him open to the attacks of the critics, who were sceptical on those supposed relics of antiquity.
alike, and it is all indiscriminately used for the same purposes; yet there is some difference in the colour, form, and texture of the several veins. The exterior parts, which lie nearest to the clay, have a greater mixture of earth, and are generally of a dark brown, or chocolate colour; some of them appear like a mass of coal and earth mixed; others have a laminous texture, but the lamina run in such oblique, waving, and undulating forms, that they bear a strong resemblance to the roots of trees, like some specimens from Lough Neagh in Ireland, which seem to be the same sort of fossil.
There are other veins of this coal, which lie more in the centre of the strata, and abound most in the lowest and thickest bed, the substance of which is more compact and solid: these are as black and almost as heavy as pit coal; they do not so easily divide into lamina, and seem to be more strongly impregnated with bitumen: these are distinguished by the name of stone coals, and the fire of them is more strong and lasting than that of other veins. But the most remarkable and curious vein in these strata, is that which they call the wood coal, or board coal, from the resemblance which the pieces have to the grain of deal boards. It is sometimes of a chocolate colour, and sometimes of a shining black. The former sort seems to be less impregnated with bitumen, is not so solid and heavy as the latter, and has more the appearance of wood. It lies in straight and even veins, and is frequently dug in pieces of 3 or 4 feet long, and with proper care might be taken out of a much greater length. Other pieces of the same kind are found lying on them in all directions, but without the least intermixture of earth, or any other interstices, except some small crevices, by which the pieces are divided from each other in all directions. When it is first dug, and moist, the thin pieces will bend like horn, but when dry it loses its elasticity, and becomes short and crisp. At all times, it is easily to be separated into very thin laminæ or splinters, especially if it lie any time exposed to the heat of the sun, which like the fire makes it crackle, separate, and fall to pieces. The texture of this fossil consists of a number of laminæ, or very thin plates, lying over each other horizontally, in which small protuberances sometimes appear, like the knots of trees; but on examination they are only mineral nuclei, which occasion this interruption in the course of the lamina; and pieces of spar have been sometimes found in the middle of this wood coal..
Though the texture of this coal is laminated, yet it does not appear to have any of those fibrous intersections observed in the grain of all wood. This coal easily breaks transversely, and the separated parts, instead of being rugged and uneven, are generally smooth and shining, in which even the course of the laminæ is hardly discernible. They dig its coal in an open pit, together with the clay that is mixed with it; and though it lies very close and compact in its original bed, yet it is so easily separated, that they can afford to sell it for half
a crown a ton at the pit. The smaller coal is separated from the clay by a screen, or grated shovel; the larger, which rises sometimes in pieces of above an hundred weight, is piled up by hand. There is hardly any other use made of it at present but to bake the earthen ware of a manufacture erected at South Bovey, and for burning lime-stone.
The fire made by this coal is more or less strong and lasting according to its different veins: those which lie nearest to the clay, having a greater mixture of earth, burn heavily, leaving a large quantity of brownish ashes; that which they call the wood coal is said to make as strong a fire as oaken billets, especially if it be set on edge, so that the fire, as it ascends, may insinuate itself between, and separate the laminæ. But that of the stone coal is accounted most strong and durable, being apparently more solid and heavy, and probably also more strongly impregnated with bitumen.
When this coal is put into the fire, it crackles and separates into laminæ, as the cannel coal does into irregular pieces, burns for some time with a heavy flame, becomes red hot, and gradually consumes to light white ashes. Though the transverse crevices made in it by the fire give it the external appearance of a wooden brand, yet if quenched when red hot, the unconsumed part does not look like charcoal, but seems to be almost as smooth and solid as when first put into the fire.
Notwithstanding the resemblance which this fossil bears to wood, especially when viewed in detached pieces, yet the following observations on its situation, its form and properties will prove it to be not of a vegetable but of a mineral origin. In the first place, there does not seem to be any imaginable cause in nature which could bring together such a mass of fossil wood as is found in this, and other strata of the like kind in different parts of Europe. It extends here to the depth of 70 feet: in that near Munden they have sunk 50 feet, without coming to the bottom. Fossil trees, though frequently found single, or in small numbers, are generally discovered in morasses and soft ground, where they have either buried themselves by their own weight, or been overwhelmed by some accidental cause: but the Bovey strata are found in a dry soil, intermixed with clay and sand, and by their regular course and continuance, carry the most undoubted marks of never having been disturbed since their original formation. Fossil trees likewise preserve their form and size, their length and roundness, their branches and roots, their fibrous texture and strength, and are either found entire, or in such large pieces, that there is no room to doubt of their nature, since the very species of wood is frequently distinguishable in them; whereas the Bovey coal comes out only in flat pieces, of a few feet long, like the splinters of large masts; and on them are discovered no signs of roots, branches, or bark, no round pieces, or concentric circles, which distinguish the annual growth of